NEW GLASGOW – Sobeys has partnered with Feed Nova Scotia on a new retail food program that will get more food to those who need it.
Thanks to new corporate guidelines introduced by Sobeys, surplus food that is close to or past its best before date but still safe for consumption or use, will now be donated and distributed to those in need.
The new program is currently being piloted at the Mumford Road Sobeys in Halifax and Aberdeen Mall Sobeys in New Glasgow. The program is also being piloted outside of Nova Scotia at Sobeys Vaughan Harvey Boulevard, Moncton, in partnership with Food Depot Alimentaire. Sobeys says it will be rolled out across Atlantic Canada in the next few months, once a full assessment of capacity and logistics has been completed.
Food safety is a top priority for Sobeys and Feed Nova Scotia. Both parties recognize the important difference between a best before date and an expiry date. No items that have passed the expiry date will be donated. Dry, shelf-stable foods that have passed their best before date and meet Food Bank Canada’s consumption date guidelines will be donated, including canned and dry grocery products. Fresh foods that cannot be frozen will be donated close to but not past their best before date, and distributed same day for quick consumption. Fresh foods that can be frozen (e.g. meats, seafood and dairy) will be frozen on or before their best before date and then donated and distributed while frozen. Some health and beauty items will also now be donated. Logistics are in place to ensure the safe handling and transportation of all donated items.
“This is a big step for all of us,” said Nick Jennery, executive director, Feed Nova Scotia. “Sobeys has taken an extremely comprehensive and open approach in getting to this point, and we’re excited by both the enthusiasm they’ve shown and the volume and variety of food we’ve been picking up daily since the pilot was introduced two weeks ago. I have every confidence that we have the competence and commitment to maximize the opportunity they’ve presented, and that great things lie ahead. Sobeys is already our largest corporate food donor and this partnership will see donations grow exponentially across the province.”
In the first two weeks of the pilot, Feed Nova Scotia received 520 kg of new food donations from the Mumford Road location alone including frozen meat and fresh produce which enables Feed Nova Scotia to distribute more balanced meals to those in need. This is equivalent to an estimated 1,100 meals.
“Sobeys is committed to proudly serving its communities, and supporting food banks and the important work they do is key to ensuring food access for everyone in Atlantic Canada,” added Peter Doucette, general manager, Sobeys Atlantic. “This new approach will ensure more food makes it to the tables of those who need it most and we take great pride in being the grocery retailer in Atlantic Canada that is leading the way on surplus food donations.”